The gaming session is rather commonplace in modern society. It's increasingly common for people to hunker down for a solid day of gaming. But there are always repercussions to extend periods of gaming and if you make said sessions a habit, your health can sometimes suffer.
A 20-year-old man tragically lost his life from a blood clot caused by exhaustive gaming marathons; his family estimates he spent as many as 12 hours a day gaming on his Xbox. His father is now trying to spread awareness about the issue, and has sent a warning to parents regarding the dangers of playing computer games for extended periods of time.
Chris Staniforth suffered a blood clot in his lung (pulmonary embolism) as a result of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is caused by being inactive for extended periods of time, but traditionally happens in those who spend many hours traveling, particularly internationally. But of course video games are another activity that involves long periods of immobility.
Chris's father David stated that:
"As a parent you think playing computer games can't do them any harm because you know what they are doing. Kids all over the country are playing these games for long periods - they don't realize it could kill them."
Chris collapsed outside a local job centre after he had been complaining about chest pains to his friend for several days. He had described waking up during the night with pains in his chest and had noted that his heart rate had decreased drastically.
Of course incidents such as these have been on the rise over the years. This is probably due to the increasing popularity of video gaming and the evolution of certain aspects such as online play. Video games are growing and they are getting better every year. This means people can stay glued to their screen for hours without growing bored.
Chris owned a range of consoles and hundreds of games. His father stated he would often play people online from across the world. He had hoped to pursue a career in programming or creating video games and had been offered a place at the University of Leicester to study game design.
Chris's father has not held Microsoft or any other gaming company to blame for this incident. All he wants to do is make everyone else aware of the dangers of continuous gaming sessions. Sony and Microsoft have taken steps towards warning people about these marathon play sessions, and a lot of video games now promote the idea of taking a break between gaming.
The ideal situation would be taking a break every hour. This gives the body a chance to recharge, you can move around to avoid blood clogging and it gives your eyes a break from the screen. Competitive gaming in the modern world has made it quite difficult to pull yourself away from the screen. One is always aware of the progress others can make whilst you are away from the keyboard. But you should still consider your own health in the process. It can encourage addictive and compulsive behavior characteristics such as the motives displayed by Chris.
Chris's father has tragically lost his son to an addictive state and a blood clot caused by an extended period of video gaming. His message is simply to be aware of the dangers of gaming, and we hope the video game companies take note.
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